Warning: when you turn 21, your birthday never ends. On Friday, almost a full month after the twenty-first anniversary of my explosion into this world, my girlfriend Mel treated me to an Ani DiFranco show at the Crystal Ballroom. We went out to dinner beforehand to an LC favourite: Thai Peacock. Half the kids who live in my building just so happened to be there, and the waitress just so happened to seat us right next to them. Way to kill the romance, Thai Peacock lady.
The Thai Peacock crew all just so happened to be going to the Ani show too. LC students (including Mel and me) formed a respectable block of enthusiastic swayers near the front of the crowd. Anaïs Mitchell, who in my opinion does lovely guitar work ruined by whiney vocals, was the opener. Ani, in her usual unpretentious white tanktop and baggy khakis, materialised onstage, and the crowd (as Dith would say) went cuckoo bananapants. Ani played a solid set, including a revitalized version of an old folk tune called Which Side Are You On.
On Saturday, a chartered bus – the kind with its own on-board bathroom – deposited a passel of LC students at Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch. We shivered our way through the line for the Field of Screams Haunted Corn Maize, then screamed our way through the ear-y paths. (Haha, get it? What a corny pun.) It was terrifying and wonderful. A man in a swine mask chased me for awhile, which was unfairly scary because I used to be really afraid of pigs when I was a little kid. When we were squishing down the homestretch, we heard a chainsaw in the distance. “There’s always a psycho chainsaw murderer at the end, always,” Ashley said, and just as I was explaining how “I’ve never seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so chainsaws don’t really scare me,” chainsaw man leapt out of the corn on my left and swung his monstrous machine through the air above my head. I ducked and screamed for probably a full 60 seconds. Protip: Don’t talk about what you’re not afraid of, because it will take the opportunity to prove you wrong.
When we got back to campus, I claimed my spot in line for a Once Upon a Weekend seat. OUAW, a series of hilarious theatrical one acts, takes place over the course of a single weekend each semester. This semester, the theme was Saboteur. Students wrote and submitted short plays relating to the theme – everything from pirates versus ninjas to a Christmas card photography set going wrong wrong wronger – and directors and actors had just two days to cast, memorise, block, and rehearse, and then everyone is on stage, fumbling and improvising. This year was the tenth anniversary, so LC theatre alum were invited to act and direct alongside current students. Between performances, three of our a cappella groups performed. Section Line Drive was wearing Wheat Thins paraphernalia (”Because it’s Once Upon a Wheat Thin!”), Momo & the Coop dressed crazy, and the Merry Weathers handled their sometimes pointy-heeled shoes admirably. (Click here for five videos!)
Non-homework events on Sunday included postcard-making and s’more roasting. Now that some of the students in my building are fire safety certified, we can use our fireplace anytime we like! Bring it, winter. We’re ready for you. We will take you down with our marshmallow power.
I have been working relentlessly to write a really solid application for a SAAB grant. I’m planning on bringing Athens Boys Choir and Katastrophe, two spoken word and hip-hop trans activists, to campus in mid-November for Trans Day of Remembrance. The trick is to slate the event, a combination workshop and multimedia performance called F to eMbody, as academic in nature and supplemental to the Gender Studies curriculum already in place at LC. I think I’ll be able to pull it off. I will keep you posted.
I’ve been doing a ton of research about intersex for my Anthropology of the Body class. I just read a mind-bending (although not quite blowing) memoir called Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) and I’ve been plugging away at the ten or twelve intersex-related articles I’ve extracted from a handful of academic journals. It’s amazing how tiny the intersex community is. The same names keep surfacing in my research. Statistically, more babies are born intersex than are born with cystic fibrosis, but which condition is the average person more familiar with? Politics, privilege, and a paradigm of normality all contribute to the obfuscation of intersex issues. I’m really enjoying digging into the scientific dirt surrounding intersexuality.
I started typing this blog later than usual today because I stopped by the Physics and Chemistry Department’s annual pumpkin launch and demolition. I was rather underwhelmed by what the trebuchet could do to a lineup of jello-filled and dry ice-filled pumpkins, but then a guy in a lab coat brought out a pitcher of a sodium compound, the exact composition of which I have forgotten. He poured it into a hollowed-out pumpkin filled with water, retreated to the sidelines, and we all waited, fingers corked in our ears. The forthcoming explosion was awesome! The entire pumpkin literally vanished! Hallowe’en is magical. I enjoy pointless destruction on occasion.
I’m on duty this weekend, which means I’m doing rounds in costume, and I’m armed. With candy. To give to ghoulish revelers. I’m disguising myself as the dinosaur extinction, because I have an unreasonable number of dinosaur toys and a fondness for conceptual costumes.
Slide those questions on over to firstname.lastname@example.org, and answers will magically appear in your inbox. Try it. I dare you.
And so concludes another week of my hectic fall semester. This week wasn’t so great, because I got really sick last weekend and yet still had a midterm to study for, and a paper and two Piolog (the student newspaper at LC) articles to write (I can’t wait to see them in the papers today). Which brings me to the topic of this blog: The Pioneer Log, or simply Piolog.
I haven’t always been a fan of Piolog – they’re sort of a running joke on campus for being…well…crappy..ahem. I remember freshman year it was sort of a ritual to make fun of Piolog articles on Fridays, whether be the writing or the content. But I really had no idea how hard these editors worked (and I presume not many people do). I mean, they literally cannot have a life on Wednesdays, which is why I am just a staff writer. I also used to get ticked off at the editors because they always add/remove a whole bunch of stuff from my articles and in essence change them completely. And I understand when it’s for bias, but I still thought they went overboard sometimes. I’m over it now. The way I see it is that if I’m going to get into journalism after graduation then it’s probably better that I get used to it now. Plus, I just found out last night through talking with one of the copy editors that the AP Format only allows “says” or “said” to be used with a quotation. Oops.
The Piolog editors this year have also been especially hardworking, and I guess some of the section editors haven’t been too happy, so as a result they’ve had a hard time keeping people on staff. Free plug: Piolog is looking for section editors, and as an editor, not only are you guaranteed admission to the best of the best journalism graduate programs, you also get PAID. How much? I don’t know. I can’t do it, because 1) I have no time and 2) I have no time. But prospies (that’s you, prospective students), think about journalism; it’s easy and you can get paid. Plus, society always needs good journalists! So what are you waiting for, get out that AP Style Guidebook and start memorizing the rules.
Here are my two articles from this week’s issue if you’re interested:
Can you believe tomorrow is Halloween already? October really went by in a blaze and I was too preoccupied with school work to enjoy it. That… is a first.
We are having a party at our house this weekend! Expect epic pics next week.
p.s. holler at me, email@example.com
This past weekend was a pretty full one, especially for the theatre and music department. To kick things off, Cappella Nova performed in the Rogers Concert last Thursday, a big event that happens every fall semester. We ended up singing most of the music that we had been working on during the fall to a packed auditorium. We started our set with “Country Dances” (one of the fastest songs I have ever sung in my life), “Fengyang Song” (the first Chinese song I have ever sung!), “Down In The River To Pray” (any “O Brother Where Art Thou fans out there?) and we ended our set with the powerhouse song “The Battle of Jericho” (Best. Tenor part. Ever.). After we were done, all of the other choirs who had performed in the concert joined us on stage and into the aisles with the audience to sing a beautiful arrangement of “Shenandoah.” It was the biggest choir I have ever sung in with a total of 140 people. It was pretty awesome, to say the least.
For the theatre side of things, something special happened last weekend. Once every semester there is a huge event that takes premise over everything, even the main-stage production it seems. It is a little something called Once Upon A Weekend. This special production LITERALLY takes place over the course of a weekend. The week before, a theme is released to campus and anyone is welcome to write a short play and submit it to see if it will be chosen: this semester’s theme was “Saboteur.” By Wednesday, the plays are chosen. On Thursday, the plays are assigned directors. On Friday, the plays are cast…randomly. And then on Saturday only have 2 hours with your director to go through the play and block it and make it as funny as you can before the plays go on that evening. It is absolute madness, but this is my fifth time to do it. You never know who you are going to be. Over the past two and a half years I have a been a guy with a parasitic girlfriend, a fairy godmother, an angel, a second grader, and this year I ended up being a crazed explorer trying to put the blame on everyone in my party beside myself for why our hot air balloon crashed. I got to be very emphatic and loud, overall, a really fun part. Some of the other plays featured were a farce on “who stole the cookies from the cookie jar,” a battle between pirates and ninjas (epic, I tell you), a Christmas photo set gone horribly wrong and a new take on the French revolution with the angry peasants being replaced by a horde of zombies. Something that made this Once Upon so important was that it was the tenth anniversary of the event and in celebration of this fact, the department decided to invite alumni back to write, act and direct. The audience and casts were crowded with many older and unfamiliar faces, but it made the experience much more wonderful. Many alumni from the department act professionally and it was really interesting to see them in their element. It was a wonderful night that I ended up leaving with new friends from.
Academically, this past week has been brutal. I have been in complete midterm mode studying hard for my Social Theory and Theatre and Society I tests. T&S is over, but I still need to power through the other.
With this I’ll leave you until next week. Hope you are all well.
Musical present of the week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpLXQorSQe8&feature=channel
I haven’t been able to stop listening to this song for days. Enjoy!
So tonight I am caught in my bed with a mild headache and am missing reverse-trick-or-treating! Agape is going around giving candy to people tonight, in costume of course, and I am stuck in bed. Not cool. But a group did stop by my room twice!! Carolyn made cupcakes (I have yet to eat it…) and Kelsey and Jen delivered one to me! Later they made their official stop and handed out candy to my roommate, and came in and said hello again. I think this headache will go away with sleep. So I might actually be going to bed at 9:30. Awesome!
That being said Halloween is definitely stirring – RAKE, Random Acts of Kindness, Ect. Decorated pumpkins and put them around campus. They have self-affirming messages on them like “smile” and “breathe”. Finding them around campus was my small adventure of the day. There are some very talented artists and climbers in that group (how did that pumpkin get up there?). I am going to be a shark for Halloween! My friend Karen has this towel-thingy that has a hood on it with shark teeth, eyes and a fin. I think they were made with the intention of making it easier to dry little kids with towels after a swim, but hey, I can enjoy it too! There have definitely been some creative costumes. Jessica and Rachael from Agape both dressed like doctors and together they made a “pair-of-docs”! I needed about six clews to understand that one, but I love it.
With a bittersweet ending, Crew has come to a close, for now. The fall season ended on Sunday with the Portland Classic Regatta. I rowed in the Women’s Open Eight, and it was a fantastic row. We were focused throughout the entire thing and as a team we had a great time. On the way back we hooked up an iPod to the speaker system in the boat and got to listen to music on our row back! It was great to end the fall season as a team. Orange and Black, ATTACK! ATTACK! is our Crew cheer, and it is even fitting for the Halloween season.
Today my midterms are done! I feel good about my E&D test, and I am just going to go with it. No stress, it’s done. I met with my advisor, Mary today about what classes I should take next semester. There is a new class on the origins of the universe that is taught by four professors (from the physics, geology, biology and chemistry departments) which is catching my interest. However it is at the same time as the New Testament class that I want to take. Another idea is to take the Intro to Sociology class so that I get a taste of the two departments that I am thinking about majoring in. This semester I am in two English classes, and if I take a Religious studies class and a SOAN class then I will have a good knowledge of what I want to do in the future. It is a very good problem to have! Also, I am not guaranteed to get into the classes that I want to, but either way I have a good game-plan.
I am going to go to bed! Those words sound so wonderful right now! In college, make sure to get enough sleep, especially if you are sick. I am going to listen to my advice and peace out. Questions about ghosts, lions, tigers or bears? Send them my way!
“‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
p.s. For some reason my computer is not letting me upload some awesome pics to this blog, so I will get that sorted out and then let you see them! Sorry!
What to write about this week? My dislike of cold weather? I feel like it has been so cold this week, even though it really isn’t, 50 and raining feels cold though. I am sitting here at my computer shivering with socks a sweat shirt and a blanket on, I guess I could make hot chocolate, but that would be too much work. But back to something more interesting than my coldness.
Last weekend was crazy, my roommate and a friend and I went to a performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday. I had never been before and must say I was really confused about all the random shouting at the screen. I can’t say that I am a big fan, but maybe if I watched the movie first I would have actually known what was going on. On Saturday I went to see Half Blood Prince which was playing on campus and I was really excited. It brought back all the happy memories of the Harry Ginny relationship and how much fun it was (and still is) to dissect every part of Harry Potter. Even if you don’t like Harry Potter it would be a good idea to read it, every one seems to have read it and it makes a good icebreaker during New Student Orientation so you don’t just end up watching TV instead of talking to your roommate. Of course my friends and I ended up in the endless discussion of how unsatisfactory the climactic moment was, but oh well, it was nice to get to something other than write papers.
Speaking of papers, last week I was freaking out because I thought I had three papers due. One on Tuesday, one on Friday and then one next Monday. Well silly me, I thought that October was over already and then I realized on Saturday morning that in fact I only had one paper due! Yeah, so all of this panic and stress over nothing. OF course now that I have turned in my Plato paper I have to work on the others, but I had a much better weekend then I thought I was going to.
This week isn’t really looking up unfortunately. My huge Historical Materials project is looming on the horizon. I am working on editing a series of letters between US and Mexico before the Texas Revolution (Remember the Alamo!). It is interesting but a lot of work. This week I am having a little trouble matching my blog title (if the rest of you are not as big of fans of Gilmore Girls as I am, that’s were the titles are from), but I guess I just think it is fun!
Everywhere on campus smells disconcertingly like damp dog food. It took me a couple of days to figure out that it’s fertilizer – Palatine Hill is slowly changing green leaves into redorangeyellow leaves while the grass turns from brown to green. The whole place is in colour flux. Compare the photo on the right featuring the tree outside my window to this photo, taken just a few weeks ago.
Last weekend my RA staff team and I packed ourselves into three cars and zipped on over to Lincoln City for retreat. Our house was on a lake – like, on top of a lake. We had a hot tub and a boat house and a creepy mustachioed carved head. And so much spinach dip. We spent most of retreat doing homework, eating, skewering things and suspending them over the fireplace flames, eating said skewered things, and scattering our belongings throughout the entire rather sizable house. The internet taught me how to unwrap Starburst wrappers with my tongue (thanks internet!) so I’ve been practicing my newfound and very employable skill. On Saturday, dressed in black garbage bags decorated with orange electrical tape, we rolled on over to the football game against Linfield and cheered on our Pioneers. The moment we showed up our boys scored a touchdown, but we still lost spectacularly in the end. It was fun for everyone anyway. And of course, because we were wearing our super high-tech and patriotic raingear, it didn’t rain at all. I was even prepared for the cold with my zip-up onesie footie pyjamas! Weather:1. Me: 0
On Monday, my parents took me out for a fancy dinner at Andina, a Peruvian restaurant in the Pearl, to celebrate my 21st birthday. The waiter didn’t even card me when I ordered a Sacsayhuamán – the Americanised pronunciation of that is “sexy woman” and it’s got habañero peppers in it. I spent quite awhile trying to lick all the sugar off the rim between the various dishes we ordered over the course of the evening. All in all, I name the evening a success.
I whisked myself off to my Astronomy professor’s office this week. We discussed Hallowe’en costumes (I’m going as the dinosaur extinction), the Hadron Collider, and my research paper topic. I’m going to write my paper about the Red Controversy of Sirius – the star, not the animagus. (Although Sirius Black miiiiight be responsible for my interest in that particular star in the first place.) Wikipedia informs me that Ptolemy recorded several stars as distinctively red in colour, including Sirius. The thing is, Sirius is very obviously blue, although all those other stars are indeed reddish. So my research question is: was Ptolemy just crazy, or was there something different about Sirius at the time Ptolemy was marking his observations? We just had our Astronomy midterm yesterday, and it went mostly okay except when I got really stuck on one of the math questions. After 20 minutes of floundering and exuberant scribblings-out, I scrawled “okay, I give up” in the corner and handed in my exam. Afterwards, I whaled on some strike pads in Women’s Self Defense, and that made me feel a lot better. Punching inanimate objects is a good way to shake the angries.
It’s Homecoming Week. In honour of that, the College distributed 800 orange and black Voodoo doughnuts at the crack of early on Wednesday and 100 boxes of pizza at post-lunch-pre-dinner-time on Thursday. The pizza was gone in under half an hour – them kids be hungry! The various yet-to-come Homecoming events include a professional performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show; a Former Ghosts concert; back-to-back screenings of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and of course the football game on Saturday.
I have collected quite an impressive amalgamation of exciting weekend plans. Guess you’ll have to wait till next Friday to find out what they are! I’ll cut you a deal: I’ll take on my To Do list so I can actually do fun things this weekend, and you work on flooding my inbox with questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past week has been craaaaazy. I am so tempted to post a scan of my agenda so you guys can marvel at the monstrosity that is my week and laugh at my misery, but I have a habit of scribbling all sorts of inappropriate stuff all over my agenda when I’m bored in class. So you don’t get to see it. Anyway, there is still one more day before the week is over, and it’s going to be the most hectic of all; on the menu: midterm + exam + 2-page response paper. Fun!
Onto something that’s actually fun… Last week my buddy Alex turned 22, and to celebrate we went to Lola’s Room on Friday for the 80s Dance Party (every Friday, FYI). Let me tell you….it was happening (or is it hopping?? whatever you cool kids are saying nowadays)!! People in their 30s with voluminous 80s hair, people in their 40s wearing nothing at all, and even a few people in their 50s doing their best to keep up with the ‘Thriller’ choreography. Okay, no one was naked. And I made that last part up, but from the cool costumes, to the endless ridiculous music videos from the 80s on the big screens, to forming a circle to let the cool kids get in the middle to do their thing…I ended up having a great time, as did everyone else! It’s a great distresser from a hectic week filled with school work.
I came across this awesome quote the other day and wrote it down, but without a commentary. I am almost for certain I had something awesome to say about it, but I can’t remember… shoot.
“If culture happens to be what seizes your soul, you will have to recognize that you will always be working in an area of displacement.” – Stuart Hall (aka the Mac Daddy of Communication/Culture Studies).
So… try not to let culture seize your soul.
Write down all the awesome stuff that randomly pops into your head.
So finally Portland has begun to exhibit the characteristic that I was warned about, the rain. I must admit though, right now I really enjoy it. Maybe after a few months I’ll change my mind, but currently it is very refreshing. The air is so clear and it seems like everything is vivid green - when nature gets a constant drink of water it certainly likes to show off. Even this morning at 5:15 rushing to the Crew vans, when it was pouring, it wasn’t terrible. Rowing in the rain was quite the experience though, but as a team I feel like the combination of waking up at 4:50, pouring rain, and this being our last week together for the fall season truly made us all come together. This morning, despite being SOAKED and cold was fantastic. Two cups of hot chocolate at breakfast definitely helped.
While I’m talking about crew I should tell you all that the regatta this past Saturday in Tacoma was fantastic! We didn’t win any races, but as a team we won. What I mean by that is by experiencing what a race truly is (for 4 of the Varsity rowers, including me, this was our first race!) we now have a platform to build off of for this Sunday’s race, and also we kept up a great morale and had fun. I also got to see my friend Erica!! She goes to Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, so she decided to bring herself and five friends - in the picture I am to the left and she is the next one to my right with the awesome rain boots. I am thinking I might need to purchase some of those…
This week feels like a cool-down week. Last week was so crazy with papers, tests and of course, homework. There’s always homework. But this week I am managing to have time to nap and knit between things instead of squeezing in every minute of homework just to stay ahead. Yet it is only Wednesday night, and I have a recitation of a poem tomorrow for my Poetry class (I chose William Blake’s “The Little Black Boy”) and two tests next Wednesday. So while I still have a ton going on, it is so nice to just chill and breathe for a while. After Agape I went over to Kelsey’s (one of the people I went on the Fall break trip with) room and we just talked, and I wasn’t worried about homework or getting up early - just good bonding time. Those need to happen more often, I think.
For Thanksgiving I will be going to visit my Grandma in Santa Cruz, California and I just bought my ticket today! My friend Katie will be joining me too! She is from Alaska and wasn’t planning on going home, so I invited her to come along. It will be an awesome trip. Another cool thing is that my other friend, Kaylie that Katie and I know through rowing lives in Santa Cruz, so we are planning a day where we can show Katie around. The connections I have made while at L&C so far have been so incredible. Think about this: Me, from Minnesota, has a best friend from Fairbanks, Alaska, and is having Thanksgiving in California and going to meet up with a teammate that just happens to live there. Wonderful!
The only bad part about relaxing is that often times I enjoy it too much and forget about important things like sleep. So, I’m off to bed, but I hope that you all are enjoying this week regardless of the weather conditions you happen to be in! As always, I have more stories, and e-mail me with yours and we can chat.
“Do or do not, there is no try” -Yoda
Hey everyone, I am back after a very busy week. This has been such a crazy week, studying for my Historical Materials midterm and starting to write 3 papers! A piece of very important advice, do not take four classes that all require massive amounts of writing and reading. I am starting to regret my schedule even though I love all of my classes. This was a really exciting weekend though, a couple of friends and I went to see Oregon Ballet Theatre perform Balanchine’s Emeralds and a bunch of other short numbers for their twentieth anniversary. I love ballet so I convinced my roommate and some friends to buy season tickets to the ballet and we got tickets for 56$ for four performances. Now, mind you we did get seats that were second row as far right as you can be, but it was still awesome. Being that close I could see what brand of pointe shoes some of the ballerinas were wearing and see the sweat on their arms. I am also in the midst of intense jealousy of how wonderfully they articulate their arms and feet! (not that any of you really care).
After we got done at the Ballet we went to Chipotle, a Mexican restaurant downtown. My roommate always makes fun of it and tells me how bad it is, but yet she still eats there. Anyway, I am sure most of you do not care about ballet, but there are lots of other kinds of performances downtown. The Oregon Symphony performs (and next month Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull is coming to play with them, I haven’t decided if I will be able to go or not but it would be amazing!), the Opera, and also various musicals and other traveling groups. There is also a pretty big Indie music scene in Portland but I am not really up on that kind of stuff.
This week is also homecoming week. At LC sports are not a huge deal but we do have lots of fun events going on this weekend. Today they had donuts for free in the Social Science building, Friday they are doing a performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Saturday is the Homecoming Game, a band performance and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince showing. I am excited to get to see Half Blood Prince when I am actually awake. I am not a night owl and by the end of the midnight showing I went to I was starting to nod off. Everything from the Harry/Ginny kiss onwards is a little fuzzy. Other than homecoming events I am continuing to write papers and do my reading. I just read Oedipus at Colonus and had a funny High School flash back to two of my friends ‘rapping’ Oedipus the King (one of my friends was “Papa Tier” a.k.a. Tiresias), an image that is forever burned into my brain. Well, off to hang out with some friends and study for my midterm! And for all you early action applicants, good luck and hope you do not wait until the last minute to turn in your app (those common app servers get pretty jammed—especially if you live in the stone age and have dial up at your house [i.e. me]).
I am sorry if you missed me last week. I pushed save instead of publish so my blog was not uploaded on to the website!! Its okay though, because now you get two blogs in one week! LUCKY YOU!!
I am apart of the L.E.A.D program which brings perspective students to campus. This weekend I hosted two girls, Jamila and Gloria who were great “prospies”. They arrived on Sunday. I met them in Frank Manor, then went straight to dinner. We were able to really get to know eachother and get through the first ice breaker. I think they were a little intimidated in the beginning because they were not ready for the BIG personalities of my friends. But they quickly warmed up and seemed to really enjoy themselves. I did not really see the girls on Monday because their schedules were hectic with activities from LC and interviews. Tuesday I was able to spend more time with them before they had to leave in the evening. I miss them already!! I hope to see them next year!!
Its crazy to think how fast this year is going by. I am already thinking about my semester abroad next year I London meanwhile it feels like I just turned in my application for Lewis & Clark yesterday!!!
:::LIFE IN THE FAST LANE:::
SONG OF THE WEEK: Brand New Day- Joshua Radin
Till next blog =)